Trevor A. Makal

Trevor Makal 2Trevor A. Makal

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Phone: 276.376.3442
Office: Science 232


  • Ph.D., Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry (Prof. Hongcai Joe Zhou), Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 2013
  •  B.S., Chemistry, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 2008

Courses Taught

  • College Chemistry I and lab
  • College Chemistry II and lab
  • Inorganic Chemistry and lab
  • Introduction to Crystallography and Diffraction

Research Interests

My research interests are based, broadly, on the synthesis, characterization, and application of advanced porous materials, primarily metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Owing to the extensive coal mining in the Appalachia region and increased prevalence of hydraulic fracturing, as well as recent chemical and power plant waste water spills, my current research interests have become focused on the development of new porous materials for the capture of heavy metals and toxic chemicals from aquatic environments.

We have been investigating the synthesis of water-stable MOFs for capture of heavy metals through application of hard-soft acid base (HSAB) theory. MOFs allow the opportunity to anchor individual binding sites to prevent aggregation and allow for investigation of binding modes and ligand proximity on the influence of heavy metal adsorption. Furthermore, the crystalline
nature of MOFs allows us to thoroughly characterize and study binding phenomena through X-ray diffraction methods, as well as fine-tune pore sizes, shapes, and functionalities through ligand or metal modification strategies to enhance binding affinity and efficiency.

Other research interests include structure property relationships in MOFs (specifically as they apply to alternative fuel storage, including natural gas and hydrogen), stimuli-responsive materials for chemical toxin capture and drug delivery systems, and step-wise synthesis of advanced porous materials.

Professional Memberships

  • American Chemical Society

Selected Publications

Makal, T. A.; Zhang, W.; Zhou, H.-C. Realization of Both High Hydrogen
Selectivity and Capacity in a Guest Responsive Metal-Organic Framework J.
Mater. Chem. A 2013, 1, 13502-13509.

Makal, T. A.; Wang, X.; Zhou, H.-C. Tuning the Moisture and Thermal Stability
of Metal-Organic Frameworks through Incorporation of Pendant Hydrophobic
Groups Cryst. Growth Des. 2013, 13 (11), 4760-4768.

Makal, T. A.; Li, J.-R.; Lu, W.; Zhou, H.-C. Methane Storage in Advanced
Porous Materials Chem. Soc. Rev. 2012, 41 (23), 7761-7779. (Featured on Back

Lu, W. G.; Yuan, D.; Makal, T. A.; Li, J.-R.; Zhou, H.-C. A Highly Porous and
Robust (3,3,4)-Connected Metal-Organic Framework Assembled with a 90 degrees
Bridging-Angle Embedded Octacarboxylate Ligand Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51
(7), 1580-1584.

Makal, T. A.; Yakovenko, A. A.; Zhou, H-C. Isomerism in Metal-Organic
Frameworks: “Framework Isomers” J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2011, 2, 1682-1689.
(Featured on Cover)


“Methane in MOFs: Where, Why, and How” Natural Gas and Hydrogen Storage
Symposium and Industry Connector Event 2015, Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Keynote Lecture

“Improving Porosity and H2-Affinity of Porous Framework Materials” 2012
Annual Merit Review & Peer Evaluation, U.S. Department of Energy Hydrogen and
Fuel Cells Program 2012, Washington, DC.

Mark Mullins* and Trevor A. Makal, “Metal-Organic Polyhedra to
Metal-Organic Framework Chemistry”, NCUR 2015, Cheney, WA.

Mark Mullins* and Trevor A. Makal, “MOP to MOF Chemistry”, UVa-Wise –
Emory & Henry College Student Research Symposium, April 10, 2015.

Derrick Torres* and Trevor A. Makal, “Attempts to Increase Moisture
Stability of Metal-Organic Frameworks”, UVa-Wise – Emory & Henry College
Student Research Symposium, April 10, 2015.